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Texas Persimmon


Diospyros texana

Shrub or small tree with very hard wood, usually multi-trunked. Normally 10-15 ft tall but can reach 35 ft in the southern parts of its range. Common in brushy areas on level uplands, stony hillsides, and lower slopes from Houston and Bryan, Texas, in the east, west to Big Bend in west Texas, and south to Nuevo Leon in northeastern Mexico. Very common in central and south Texas. Bark light gray to white, smooth, thin, on some trunks peeling in rectangular flakes and exposing a pinkish layer beneath. Leaves up to 2 inches long, but most about half this length, firm-textured, rounded, or slightly notched at the tip and tapering to the base; margins smooth, rolled down. Flowers are urn-shaped, whitish, about 3/8 inch wide, arranged singly or in small clusters among the new leaves, male and female on separate plants, appearing in March and April. Fruit fleshy, round, up to 1 inch in diameter, black and sweet when ripe, ripening from late July into September.

This well-shaped, small tree is valued primarily for its striking trunk and branches, which are smooth, pale greyish-white, or whitish-grey, peeling off to reveal subtle greys, whites, and pinks beneath. The fruits, borne on female trees, are edible once soft, with a flavor that some liken to prunes, and are favorites of many birds and mammals. It is extremely drought-tolerant and disease-resistant and is ideal for small spaces in full sun. The heartwood, found only in very large trunks, is black, like that of the related ebony (Diospyros ebenum), while the sapwood is clear yellow.

North of the Rio Grande Valley, where winters are cold, will usually be deciduous. 

From the Rio Grande Valley southward, it will be semi-deciduous-to-evergreen, losing its leaves all at once in early spring like live oaks, with no period of bareness.


Height: 15’-20’
Spread: 15’-20’
Bloom: March-April
Light: Full Sun, Part Shade
Water: Low
Zone: 7, 8, 9 
Origin: Texas

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